OKLAHOMA – Combating hate with love, an Oklahoma Muslim association donated thousands of dollars’ worth items to women and children at a domestic violence shelter, in an event where hundreds of non-Muslim women and men.
The project, “Totes of Love”, was coordinated by doctors Basheer and Asiya Shakir, who were thrilled with the success of Saturday turnout, News Oklahoma reported.
“It was amazing,” said Asiya Shakir, a local pediatrician.
“We weren’t surprised because we were already impressed with the support we had already received to help the women and children,” said Basheer Shakir, the chief of neurosurgery at the VA Hospital in Oklahoma City.
The project was organized by the American Muslim Association of Oklahoma City to shed light on domestic violence in Oklahoma.
Putting their love into action, the crowd of about 150 gathered at the Grand Mosque, 3201 NW 48, to fill numerous pastel-colored totes with hygiene products, baby formula and other items destined for women and children at the YWCA’s domestic violence shelter.
The Shakirs husband-and-wife team said the project was created in response to State Rep. John Bennett’s questionnaire given to several Muslims who visited his office during a “Muslim Day at the Capitol” gathering on March 2.
Among the questions regarding the Islamic faith, the questionnaire asked, “The Qur’an, the Sunna of Mohammad (pbuh) and Shari`ah Law of all schools say that the husband can beat his wife. Do you beat your wife?”
The Shakirs said they wanted to combat hate with love and education after learning about Bennett’s questionnaire.
Targeting a goal of $2500, the project raised $10597, the amount donated to YWCA.
About $5,000 in baby formula was also presented to the YWCA on Saturday, as well as a numerous totes filled with sippy cups, diapers, hygiene products and other items for women and children living at the Y’s domestic violence shelter.
Asiya Shakir said she was also excited to see people of different backgrounds coming together in the name of love.
“Some of them said you know this is not Republic or Democrat — this is beyond any political persuasion. This is unity for humanity,” she said.
“I think today, we were the realization of Dr. (Martin Luther) King’s dream.”
Members of Christian and Jewish community came out to support the effort of the American Muslim couple.
“It was so nice to see all the people,” Asiya Shakir said.
With the help of volunteers of all faiths, the couple said the totes full of donated items were packed up quickly and taken to the YWCA Oklahoma City on Saturday.
“Clients and their children often arrive at our shelter with nothing but the clothes on their back,” said Jan Peery, chief executive officer of YWCA Oklahoma City.
“When clients arrive, ‘Totes of Love’ from the American Muslim Association of Oklahoma City will go a long way in helping provide an immediate sense of comfort through basic necessities.”